5 Loaves Eatery

Author & Photographer: Wendy Zheng

With an unassuming storefront on the intersection of King Drive and 75th, 5 Loaves Eatery is a Black family owned soul food eatery in Chatham that has served up hearty breakfast platters and satisfying lunch specials since 2004. When my friend and I came for Sunday brunch, the twenty-seat dining area was packed with a line nearly out the door. While we waited for a table, we admired the locally produced art and motivational quotes on the wall, the vibrantly colored interior, and the lively chatter of the dining room, which reminded me of the comfort of a relative’s home.



After being seated, we were brought a complimentary liter-sized mason jar of their signature drink called Tiger Woods, a housemade mix of sweet tea and lemonade. The tea flavor held its ground against the slightly sweetened lemonade, creating the perfect tart contrast to the indulgent brunch we were about to devour. My friend decided to order the sweet cream pancakes with strawberries and housemade buttermilk syrup along with two scrambled eggs, while I chose the three wings & smothered breakfast potatoes pancake platter with an extra side of blueberries to round off this sizable feast.

After all the food was brought out, it was hard to tell where the table began and the plates of carbs ended. Although the food took longer than expected to arrive, it was noticeably fresh-made and crafted with acute attention to detail by the family-run kitchen in the back. I immediately dove into the chicken wings, which had beautifully crisp skin and succulently tender meat. After being marinated for twenty four hours and coated in a heavily spiced breading, the chicken was expertly seasoned and complemented wonderfully by the hot sauce on the table. The pancakes were unbelievably fluffy and drenched in luxurious caramel-esque buttermilk syrup that contrasted the bold flavors of the fried chicken. The blueberries and strawberries were perfectly ripe, adding a nice acidic zing to the comforting, homely meal. However, the star of the show for me was  the smothered breakfast potatoes. They were satisfyingly both crisp and melt-in-your-mouth tender, and melded with the glorious smoky char of the peppers and onions into a symphony of textures and flavors.

The food at 5 Loaves Eatery was thoughtfully prepared, generously portioned, and extremely affordable, making it a new go to breakfast joint for me. With its welcoming atmosphere and courteous service, 5 Loaves Eatery is a mainstay for delicious comforting food and heartwarming community interactions.

Thumbnail photo taken from http://www.5loaveschicago.com/menu-1.html